Action Needed on Upper Chattooga River - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-10-2008   #1
 
Andy H.'s Avatar
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Action Needed on Upper Chattooga River

Forwarded Message from AW
-AH


While not directly related to Western boating, this issue may impact FS river management plans nationwide.

The Headwaters of the Chattooga small streams suitable for kayaks and canoes which flow at boatbale levels only after significant rains.

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Article_view_display_full_id_30112_


The Wild and Scenic Upper Chattooga River borders North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and has been banned to kayaking, canoeing and rafting for over 30 years - without any basis. The US Forest Service has prepared a new Environmental Assessment (EA) of the issue that recommends maintaining the ban - once again with no basis. AW has finished our initial review of the EA and we will be filing detailed comments on the EA prior to the August 1st deadline. We encourage paddlers nationwide concerned with the management and protection of rivers across the country to submit comments.

The proposed management action on the Chattooga will influence the management of rivers across the country and would create a selfishly motivated precedent that would negatively impact rivers, managers, and recreationists. Private landowners are seeking a monopoly on a Wild and Scenic public river, the Forest Service is seeking to strip basic protections from Wild and Scenic Rivers, and other stakeholders claiming zero-tolerance of paddlers are seeking to have paddling prohibited. Boaters are irrationally being singled out for adverse treatment, even while the Chief of the Forest Service directed that all users be treated equitably. Many river professionals and Forest Service personnel are behind us, but it is up to us to stop this nationwide train wreck.

The EA follows the same format as the Forest Service's past assessment of the issue: they list a string of ecological effects common to all recreation, then discuss abstract user conflicts that have never occurred and will never occur, and then make a recommendation that essentially renews the ban on floating the Upper Chattooga River, while allowing all existing recreational users unlimited access without providing any rational basis for the discrimination. There are a few differences though. They propose to allow a few people to paddle roughly a third of the upper river somewhere between zero and six days a year in the middle of winter at high water based on an impossible set of logistical hurdles. This miniscule paddling allowance is so small and bizarre it is realistically a total ban. The rest of the upper river and its tributaries remain totally off limits to paddlers. A second major difference is the exclusion of the uppermost section of the Chattooga and its tributaries from even a cursory discussion.
In addition, this EA cost taxpayers several million dollars.

The EA is not viable and breaks many basic rules and laws for preparing such documents. It is quite clearly not a scientific document; it is a philosophical and political one. It flies in the face of the successful AW appeal decision that required a user capacity analysis (which has not been
conducted) and equitable treatment of all users if limits are needed to protect the resource. The new EA essentially claims that the river has a capacity of zero boating and a capacity of infinite hiking, angling, and camping. That is hardly equitable.

PLEASE SUBMIT COMMENTS by August 1, 2008 TO:

[email protected]
<mailto:[email protected]>
or surface mailed to:

U.S. Forest Service
Chattooga River Project
4931 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29212.
A copy of the EA and a summary of the alternatives is available on the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests' web site at http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/fms <http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/fms> .

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Old 07-12-2008   #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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conflicting interests

Does anyone else find it odd that so many AW resources have been used to fight over the Chattooga headwaters; especially when most of the river is already open to unlimited paddling?
Some simple facts...
The largest outfitter in the southeast is the NOC.
The CEO of the NOC is Sutton Bacon.
A board member and recent president of AW is Sutton Bacon.
The company and person with the most financial gain by adding new runs to the area would be????

It appears Mr. Bacon has learned much from Mr. Chenny.
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Old 07-12-2008   #3
 
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Nice anon post asshole. NOC won't be rafting or taking instructional clinics through those sections of the river. Also, this fight over the Chattooga head waters started way before Sutton was put in charge of either (AW was 2003/4?).

Nice troll though. loser.
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Old 07-12-2008   #4
 
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Originally Posted by GAtoCSU View Post
Nice anon post asshole. NOC won't be rafting or taking instructional clinics through those sections of the river. Also, this fight over the Chattooga head waters started way before Sutton was put in charge of either (AW was 2003/4?).

Nice troll though. loser.
NOC rents and sells more kayak equipment then anyone in the area. Don't try and squash the truth.
The bottom line is that three-quarters of the river is already open to unlimited boating and your National lobby is fighting for access to the remainder. The Amer. Watercraft. Aassociation (look it up) is just watching the dumb paddlers argue for unlimited access for all citizens. When your sharing section 4 of the River with jetboats sanctioned by the NOC and they retain exclusive shuttle service. you will be the asshole.
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Old 07-13-2008   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWSHUCKS View Post
When your sharing section 4 of the River with jetboats sanctioned by the NOC and they retain exclusive shuttle service. you will be the asshole.
Who cares how many boats NOC sells or rents? This isn't about that. And, they sure as hell are not doing it on the Chattooga since their main outfitter, and the only one worth talking about, is on the Nantahala.

And about section 4, I would love to see a jet boat doing that run. Have you ever even been on it? There's no way in holy hell that a jet boat is getting up that river under normal boating conditions. Even at flood, I doubt it. I have ran it from .6 inches up to 8 feet.

NOC isn't looking to monopolize section 00 and 0. The only reason this is even getting dumb people like yourself to post is b/c Sutton is tied to both AW and NOC. Maybe you should argue that NOC is looking to branch out and make more regional outfitters on rivers near you (Rogue, South Platte, Susquehanna, etc.)

It's a conspiracy!

PS. Why don't you bring your main account out here for some fun?
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Old 07-13-2008   #6
 
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Originally Posted by GAtoCSU View Post
It's a conspiracy!
WOW are you a little paranoid?
We can already paddle the majority of the river and yes motorized-boats were frequently on the river before it was eliminated. I am all for limiting access in order to protect this resource. Do only care about yourself?
When you pull your head out from your behind (and stop seeing nothing but A-holes) you may realize how our time has been wasted fighting windmills at the Chattooga.

TALK TO THE HAND... I WON'T BE BACK
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Old 07-13-2008   #7
 
placerville, Colorado
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i think you will at least read responses to your idiotic posts. it is a just and good cause--i would hate to hear your ideas on other issues, much less know you or boat with you.
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Old 07-13-2008   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWSHUCKS View Post
WOW are you a little paranoid?
We can already paddle the majority of the river and yes motorized-boats were frequently on the river before it was eliminated. I am all for limiting access in order to protect this resource. Do only care about yourself?
When you pull your head out from your behind (and stop seeing nothing but A-holes) you may realize how our time has been wasted fighting windmills at the Chattooga.

TALK TO THE HAND... I WON'T BE BACK
Lol.. Don't you mean that you won't be back under this alias? Yes, AW only cares about the Chattooga b/c of the NOC connection and Yes, NOC hopes to one day run commercial, guide-less ducky trips down the real Corkscrew rapid. Preach on brother! We're listening!

PS. I just donated some cash to AW. You should do the same!
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Old 07-13-2008   #9
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Originally Posted by GAtoCSU View Post
Lol.. Don't you mean that you won't be back under this alias? Yes, AW only cares about the Chattooga b/c of the NOC connection and Yes, NOC hopes to one day run commercial, guide-less ducky trips down the real Corkscrew rapid. Preach on brother! We're listening!

PS. I just donated some cash to AW. You should do the same!

nice disinformation campaign awshucks. you're not fooling anyone pretending to be a champion of conservation. more than likely the only thing you're trying to conserve is your own monopoly on what is, by the letter of the law--w & s rivers act--(which has been systematically ignored for decades by the good ol' boys), supposed to be a community resource open to any wilderness compliant activity, which nonmotorized boating has long been affirmed to be. there really is no gray area in this situation, just an ongoing blatant power play to monopolize a national resource. nice try though.
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